Tennessee Expect Employment Report Details Progress

According to a recent news release, “the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ (DIDD’s) expansion of a successful internship model across the state and identifying a shared goal to close the state’s employment gap for people with disabilities are some of the areas of progress identified in this year’s “Expect Employment” report. The report documents the progress made by the Employment First Task Force. The employment Task Force was created in 2013 through Executive Order No. 28, and is charged with eliminating barriers, streamlining services and increasing integrated and competitive employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse disorders and other disabilities.

 “Public-private partnerships are an important component to ensuring employment opportunities for people with disabilities exist,” Governor. Lee said. “We know that state government cannot achieve success alone, and we are grateful to have the support and partnership of outstanding organizations from across the state.”

 “The collaborations we have with programs like Project SEARCH and partners like West Tennessee Healthcare are creating life changing opportunities across the state,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “We believe a thriving Tennessee is one where individuals with disabilities have competitive integrated employment options in the communities where they live.”

 “Employment for people with disabilities is more than checking a box, it’s about changing a life,” Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Brad Turner said. “People with disabilities are already making valuable contributions to the workforce, and ensuring that our department is engaging with employers to make those connections is a top priority for me.”